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What is Occam's Razor?

user13579
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4/30/2016 7:14:49 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
Nobody actually uses it though. The most popular interpretation of quantum mechanics is called many-worlds. An infinite number of universes to "explain" one universe.
Science in a nutshell:
"Facts are neither true nor false. They simply are."
"All scientific knowledge is provisional. Even facts are provisional."
"We can be absolutely certain that we have a moon, we can be absolutely certain that water is made out of H2O, and we can be absolutely certain that the Earth is a sphere!"
"Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain."
PetersSmith
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4/30/2016 8:04:35 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/30/2016 2:49:15 AM, ILoveSitarMusic wrote:
I want to know, please.

I'm pretty sure an overly simplified version is: the easiest/simplest solution is normally the right solution.
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Fkkize
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4/30/2016 9:10:02 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/30/2016 7:14:49 AM, user13579 wrote:
Nobody actually uses it though. The most popular interpretation of quantum mechanics is called many-worlds. An infinite number of universes to "explain" one universe.

Is that so? I'll just ignore your misunderstanding of the razor and many worlds (and physics in general) but it always makes me wonder where people get information like this.

http://arxiv.org...
Page 8
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
user13579
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4/30/2016 10:13:45 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/30/2016 9:10:02 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 4/30/2016 7:14:49 AM, user13579 wrote:
Nobody actually uses it though. The most popular interpretation of quantum mechanics is called many-worlds. An infinite number of universes to "explain" one universe.

Is that so? I'll just ignore your misunderstanding of the razor and many worlds (and physics in general) but it always makes me wonder where people get information like this.

http://arxiv.org...
Page 8

"By Tegmark's own admission, the survey was "highly
informal and unscientifc," as "several people voted more than once, many abstained, etc."

Oh so you want to play that game where you cite polls.

"58% believed that the Many Worlds Interpretation (MWI) was true, including Stephen Hawking and Nobel Laureates Murray Gell-Mann and Richard Feynman"

https://books.google.com...

Which one is true? Maybe they're both true in different universes.
Science in a nutshell:
"Facts are neither true nor false. They simply are."
"All scientific knowledge is provisional. Even facts are provisional."
"We can be absolutely certain that we have a moon, we can be absolutely certain that water is made out of H2O, and we can be absolutely certain that the Earth is a sphere!"
"Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain."
user13579
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4/30/2016 10:48:26 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
And the best part of all is it's even unfalsifiable! So good luck challenging the high priests of physics.
Science in a nutshell:
"Facts are neither true nor false. They simply are."
"All scientific knowledge is provisional. Even facts are provisional."
"We can be absolutely certain that we have a moon, we can be absolutely certain that water is made out of H2O, and we can be absolutely certain that the Earth is a sphere!"
"Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain."
SNP1
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4/30/2016 4:31:53 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/30/2016 7:14:49 AM, user13579 wrote:
Nobody actually uses it though. The most popular interpretation of quantum mechanics is called many-worlds. An infinite number of universes to "explain" one universe.

The Many Worlds Interpretation is ONE assumption.
The ONE assumption is that there are "many worlds".
It isn't an infinite amount of assumptions, that is a major misunderstanding.

There are other interpretations in quantum mechanics that make 2 or more assumptions, and Occam's Razor would, therefore, favor the Many Worlds Interpretation over those others.

This isn't even getting into what Fkkize said.
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user13579
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4/30/2016 5:05:26 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/30/2016 4:31:53 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 4/30/2016 7:14:49 AM, user13579 wrote:
Nobody actually uses it though. The most popular interpretation of quantum mechanics is called many-worlds. An infinite number of universes to "explain" one universe.

The Many Worlds Interpretation is ONE assumption.
The ONE assumption is that there are "many worlds".
It isn't an infinite amount of assumptions, that is a major misunderstanding.

There are other interpretations in quantum mechanics that make 2 or more assumptions, and Occam's Razor would, therefore, favor the Many Worlds Interpretation over those others.

This isn't even getting into what Fkkize said.

Ok, so instead of making the one assumption that there's one universe, I'll make the one assumption that there are infinitely many universe. What a joke.
Science in a nutshell:
"Facts are neither true nor false. They simply are."
"All scientific knowledge is provisional. Even facts are provisional."
"We can be absolutely certain that we have a moon, we can be absolutely certain that water is made out of H2O, and we can be absolutely certain that the Earth is a sphere!"
"Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain."
user13579
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4/30/2016 5:12:02 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
And to be honest, it's not really an assumption to say that there is at least one universe. Cogito ergo sum. So even if I am all that there is, then I would just be the whole universe. So actually, I don't have to assume there is one universe. I already know wherever I am is a universe.
Science in a nutshell:
"Facts are neither true nor false. They simply are."
"All scientific knowledge is provisional. Even facts are provisional."
"We can be absolutely certain that we have a moon, we can be absolutely certain that water is made out of H2O, and we can be absolutely certain that the Earth is a sphere!"
"Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain."
keithprosser
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4/30/2016 5:21:02 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
I'm not at all expert on moden esoteric cosmology, but the many-worlds interpretation would still pass Occams razor if it explains more things or more things better then any known simpler theory.

Also - afaik - the many-worlds interpretation supposes an awful lot of univeres and such, but it doesn't have all that many concepts in it, so it is in that sense a - relative simple theory. I think Occam's razor applies to the number of concepts in a theory, not the complexoty of its consequences.
Fkkize
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4/30/2016 7:14:57 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/30/2016 10:13:45 AM, user13579 wrote:
At 4/30/2016 9:10:02 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 4/30/2016 7:14:49 AM, user13579 wrote:
Nobody actually uses it though. The most popular interpretation of quantum mechanics is called many-worlds. An infinite number of universes to "explain" one universe.

Is that so? I'll just ignore your misunderstanding of the razor and many worlds (and physics in general) but it always makes me wonder where people get information like this.

http://arxiv.org...
Page 8

"By Tegmark's own admission, the survey was "highly
informal and unscientifc," as "several people voted more than once, many abstained, etc."


Oh so you want to play that game where you cite polls.


"58% believed that the Many Worlds Interpretation (MWI) was true, including Stephen Hawking and Nobel Laureates Murray Gell-Mann and Richard Feynman"

https://books.google.com...


Which one is true? Maybe they're both true in different universes.

It was a poll what scientific rigor do you expect? All polls ever taken on the matter were highly controversial and extremely unscientific. Yours is no exception.
https://en.wikipedia.org...

But then again, I won't complain about people recognizing many-worlds' superiority.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
user13579
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4/30/2016 7:24:48 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
Oh, if it's all about simplicity, then I present superdeterminism. No free will because the brain is just a quantum mechanical process itself, no randomness because it's all predetermined, no multiple universes.
Science in a nutshell:
"Facts are neither true nor false. They simply are."
"All scientific knowledge is provisional. Even facts are provisional."
"We can be absolutely certain that we have a moon, we can be absolutely certain that water is made out of H2O, and we can be absolutely certain that the Earth is a sphere!"
"Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain."
Fkkize
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4/30/2016 7:33:41 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
the many-worlds interpretation supposes an awful lot of univeres and such, but it doesn't have all that many concepts in it, so it is in that sense a - relative simple theory. I think Occam's razor applies to the number of concepts in a theory, not the complexoty of its consequences.

At least someone gets it.
MW is by far the most simply version of QM out there.

It makes one assumption: Quantum systems do not exist in one distinct state, rather they exist in every possible state.

That's at least something people can imagine, but try to think about something having NO distinct state until something interacts with it.
To me that sounds a lot more ridiculous than a couple of universes.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
Fkkize
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4/30/2016 7:39:35 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/30/2016 7:24:48 PM, user13579 wrote:
Oh, if it's all about simplicity, then I present superdeterminism. No free will because the brain is just a quantum mechanical process itself, no randomness because it's all predetermined, no multiple universes.

I don't think you understand the topic at hand.
Trying to make sense of QM does not mean just making sh1t up however you like. If you think I am wrong on that, show how your ingenious laws of superdeterminism can predict stuff more accurately than QM.

People a lot smarter than me (and you for that matter) tried to do that their entire career, yet none of them succeeded.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
Fkkize
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4/30/2016 7:42:37 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
MW is by far the simplest version of QM out there.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
user13579
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4/30/2016 7:56:19 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
Why should I assume free will exists? Or even "randomness"? What does "free will" even mean anyway. Am I able to violate the laws of physics with my "free will"? If I have "free will" and if I am still bounded by the laws of physics, then my actions would be the same as if I did not have free will! So what does free will let me do that I can't do without it? It's not even free will if I can't do anything differently. Free will is just an illusion created by the laws of physics. And randomness? Just because I don't have enough information or that I can never have enough information to calculate something in advance with certainty doesn't mean it's random. Uncertain, ok, but I don't see how you get "random" from that.

Of course, this is really just philosophy.
Science in a nutshell:
"Facts are neither true nor false. They simply are."
"All scientific knowledge is provisional. Even facts are provisional."
"We can be absolutely certain that we have a moon, we can be absolutely certain that water is made out of H2O, and we can be absolutely certain that the Earth is a sphere!"
"Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain."
Fkkize
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4/30/2016 8:04:01 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/30/2016 7:56:19 PM, user13579 wrote:
Why should I assume free will exists? Or even "randomness"? What does "free will" even mean anyway. Am I able to violate the laws of physics with my "free will"? If I have "free will" and if I am still bounded by the laws of physics, then my actions would be the same as if I did not have free will! So what does free will let me do that I can't do without it? It's not even free will if I can't do anything differently. Free will is just an illusion created by the laws of physics. And randomness? Just because I don't have enough information or that I can never have enough information to calculate something in advance with certainty doesn't mean it's random. Uncertain, ok, but I don't see how you get "random" from that.

Of course, this is really just philosophy.

Y'know, not responding to arguments (which you apparently always do when we interact) is not an objection to said arguments.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
user13579
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4/30/2016 8:10:00 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
Ok, then I'm sticking with superdeterminism, an even simpler version of QM than MW. Everything is determined in advance, especially (the illusion of) "choices" of experiments. It's also unfalsifiable like MW, but fair's fair. It's not totally ready yet, but it will be one day.
Science in a nutshell:
"Facts are neither true nor false. They simply are."
"All scientific knowledge is provisional. Even facts are provisional."
"We can be absolutely certain that we have a moon, we can be absolutely certain that water is made out of H2O, and we can be absolutely certain that the Earth is a sphere!"
"Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain."
SpiritandTruth
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4/30/2016 9:39:52 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
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keithprosser
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5/1/2016 6:25:46 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
Surely superdetermism is falsifiable - at least in principle - because if free will can be shown to be true then superdeterminism must be false?

From that it follows you think free will is false - do you think it also 'provably false'? Note is perfectly possible - ialtb(*) - for something to be definitely true (or definitely false) but no proof(or disproof) of it can be formulated. I think that it one of the lessons Godel teaches us.

(* I am led to believe!!).
user13579
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5/1/2016 10:32:24 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/1/2016 6:25:46 AM, keithprosser wrote:
Surely superdetermism is falsifiable - at least in principle - because if free will can be shown to be true then superdeterminism must be false?

I don't think free will can be shown to be true, even if it does exist. It can only be "assumed", but why? I'd rather "assume" that the human brain is just like anything else in the universe. I'd rather assume everything in the universe follows the same laws of physics.

Free will doesn't make sense anyway. My actions are governed by the laws of physics, are they not? I can't violate those laws, whether I have free will or not. I am forced (determined!) by the laws of physics to do exactly the same thing whether I have free will or not. It's not even free will then.

From that it follows you think free will is false - do you think it also 'provably false'? Note is perfectly possible - ialtb(*) - for something to be definitely true (or definitely false) but no proof(or disproof) of it can be formulated. I think that it one of the lessons Godel teaches us.

Oh ok.
Science in a nutshell:
"Facts are neither true nor false. They simply are."
"All scientific knowledge is provisional. Even facts are provisional."
"We can be absolutely certain that we have a moon, we can be absolutely certain that water is made out of H2O, and we can be absolutely certain that the Earth is a sphere!"
"Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain."
user13579
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5/1/2016 11:10:15 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
What a complete bastardization of Occam's Razor. If you want to mimimize the "assumptions", it has to be all other things being equal. So MW would satisfy Occam's Razor, if the other interpretations assumed something else in addition to an "infinite number of universes". Too bad none of them actually do that, because that assumption itself is a cop out to explain away anything you want. What makes this universe special that I'm here in this one, aware of this one, but not the others? So in one universe I observe that Schroedinger's (this won't let me do umlauts?) cat is alive, and in another universe I observe it's dead. But this universe I can see it's alive. So why am I in this universe where it's alive?
Science in a nutshell:
"Facts are neither true nor false. They simply are."
"All scientific knowledge is provisional. Even facts are provisional."
"We can be absolutely certain that we have a moon, we can be absolutely certain that water is made out of H2O, and we can be absolutely certain that the Earth is a sphere!"
"Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain."
user13579
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5/1/2016 11:28:00 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/30/2016 7:33:41 PM, Fkkize wrote:
the many-worlds interpretation supposes an awful lot of univeres and such, but it doesn't have all that many concepts in it, so it is in that sense a - relative simple theory. I think Occam's razor applies to the number of concepts in a theory, not the complexoty of its consequences.

At least someone gets it.
MW is by far the most simply version of QM out there.

It makes one assumption: Quantum systems do not exist in one distinct state, rather they exist in every possible state.

That's at least something people can imagine, but try to think about something having NO distinct state until something interacts with it.

Fine. I'll assume that they already have the one distinct state, predetermined by the initial conditions of the universe and the laws of physics (which are really just additional conditions). No action at a distance or infinite velocity of force propagation, because everything already "knows" where everything else is.
Science in a nutshell:
"Facts are neither true nor false. They simply are."
"All scientific knowledge is provisional. Even facts are provisional."
"We can be absolutely certain that we have a moon, we can be absolutely certain that water is made out of H2O, and we can be absolutely certain that the Earth is a sphere!"
"Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain."
user13579
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5/1/2016 12:00:52 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
Bell's theorem doesn't rule this out, because one of the "assumptions" in Bell's theorem is the existence of something called free will! Then just don't assume free will. Why should anybody assume the existence of free will? I don't see what makes the brain "special" like that.
Science in a nutshell:
"Facts are neither true nor false. They simply are."
"All scientific knowledge is provisional. Even facts are provisional."
"We can be absolutely certain that we have a moon, we can be absolutely certain that water is made out of H2O, and we can be absolutely certain that the Earth is a sphere!"
"Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain."
tejretics
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5/1/2016 1:03:33 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/30/2016 2:49:15 AM, ILoveSitarMusic wrote:
I want to know, please.

Among a set of competing hypotheses with no evidence favoring any particular hypothesis, the hypothesis which invokes least unsubstantiated positive assumptions is most likely to be true.
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keithprosser
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5/1/2016 2:20:09 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/1/2016 12:00:52 PM, user13579 wrote:
Bell's theorem doesn't rule this out, because one of the "assumptions" in Bell's theorem is the existence of something called free will! Then just don't assume free will. Why should anybody assume the existence of free will? I don't see what makes the brain "special" like that

I think the strict logic is that if free will is true then the consquences of Bell's theorem (such as action at a distance)definitely apply to reality. If free will is false then they may still be apply but not proven so. I believe action at a distance has been demonstrated, but we can't use that to determine if free will is true or not. A implies B does not imply B implies A, if you like more formal language.

I don't see what makes the brain "special" like that.

I think that is not quite the case. I think you do see what makes the "brain special like that". You surely note that the brain exhibits (apparent) free will and consciousness, which makes it pretty special because nothing else we know about exhibits them. What you mean is you would rather believe that free will is absent rather than the brain is special! No insult intended - I'm making a philosophical point.

Unless of course you have a proof that free will is definitely false which does assume monistic physicalism at the outset in which case you should post it immediately!
keithprosser
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5/1/2016 2:25:30 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
Unless of course you have a proof that free will is definitely false which does NOT assume monistic physicalism at the outset in which case you should post it immediately!

I missed a very important NOT out of my last paragraph!!
user13579
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5/1/2016 2:48:17 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/1/2016 2:20:09 PM, keithprosser wrote:
At 5/1/2016 12:00:52 PM, user13579 wrote:
Bell's theorem doesn't rule this out, because one of the "assumptions" in Bell's theorem is the existence of something called free will! Then just don't assume free will. Why should anybody assume the existence of free will? I don't see what makes the brain "special" like that

I think the strict logic is that if free will is true then the consquences of Bell's theorem (such as action at a distance)definitely apply to reality. If free will is false then they may still be apply but not proven so. I believe action at a distance has been demonstrated, but we can't use that to determine if free will is true or not. A implies B does not imply B implies A, if you like more formal language.

I don't see what makes the brain "special" like that.

I think that is not quite the case. I think you do see what makes the "brain special like that". You surely note that the brain exhibits (apparent) free will and consciousness, which makes it pretty special because nothing else we know about exhibits them. What you mean is you would rather believe that free will is absent rather than the brain is special! No insult intended - I'm making a philosophical point.

Unless of course you have a proof that free will is definitely false which does assume monistic physicalism at the outset in which case you should post it immediately!

What? I don't need to assume that there exists things outside the physical universe. Hey let me use Occam's Razor on that one.

I can assume that the physical universe exists. I can explain everything that way.

Or, I can assume that the physical universe exists and that a magic universe containing "souls" or whatever gives free will also exists. I would not be able to explain anything more this way. By Occam's Razor, I am only assuming that there is a physical universe.
Science in a nutshell:
"Facts are neither true nor false. They simply are."
"All scientific knowledge is provisional. Even facts are provisional."
"We can be absolutely certain that we have a moon, we can be absolutely certain that water is made out of H2O, and we can be absolutely certain that the Earth is a sphere!"
"Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain."
user13579
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5/1/2016 3:00:04 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
So, my "proof" that there is no free will is that you must violate Occam's Razor to assume that free will exists.
Science in a nutshell:
"Facts are neither true nor false. They simply are."
"All scientific knowledge is provisional. Even facts are provisional."
"We can be absolutely certain that we have a moon, we can be absolutely certain that water is made out of H2O, and we can be absolutely certain that the Earth is a sphere!"
"Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain."